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India's oil major, ONGC, wants marketing and pricing freedom along with the tax cuts. The company wrote an SOS to the government seeking help amidst the crashing prices and slumping market. It has become a challenge to continue with sustaining operations. And if the conditions persist, ONGC might have to cut down on investments. Last month also the state-owned company wrote to the government regarding the abolition of oil cess.
Indian downstream major, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd has devised a novel technology to test the crude oil quality at a minimal cost and time. The current method requires lengthy lab tests. The newly developed technology is called BPMarrk, engineered to optimize varied properties from the crude. A 'crude horoscope predictor tool', BPMarrk has a number of patents including those from the US and the EU.
India's downstream major, Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) yesterday informed about commissioning its first petrol pump in Bhutan in its bid to foray into the Himalayan Kingdom. The petrol pump is the first in line of the planned 22 outlets according to the MoU signed with Bhutanese state-run STBCL at select high-potential sites in the country. The ONGC-subsidiary had earlier commissioned its first retail outlet in Bhutan on March 11.
The Government of India, today, finally invited preliminary bids for the sales of its entire 52.98% stakes in India's second-biggest oil refiner, BPCL. The bidders will have to submit an Expression of interest (EOI) by May 2, according to the bid document by the DIPAM. BPCL's stake in Numaligarh Refinery Limited, however, has been excluded from the sale and will be sold only to a state-owned oil and gas firm.
The Supreme Court has dismissed the plea filed by Adani Gas and others over the contract award of piped gas distribution network in Tamil Nadu. The contract was awarded to AG&P LNG, Torrent Gas and SKN Haryana by PNGRB. The apex court bench upheld the contract saying that calling the bidders with the highest composite scores cannot be rebuked, and denied any merit in the submission.
State-run refiner, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) reported a nearly three-fold jump in its net profit to Rs 2,051.43 crore, for the fourth quarter. BPCL's net profit in 3Q2018 was Rs 698.62 crore, the company reported in a regulatory filing. However, revenue from operation slipped over lower oil prices to Rs 85,926.70 crore.
"Oil guzzler, Indian Oil Corporation yesterday informed about completing the revamp of its all units to produce BS-VI grade fuels at its Mathura refinery. The revamp comes months ahead of the deadline for the rollout of newer emission norms from April 2020. With the revamp operations now complete, IOCL Mathura Refinery has become the first refinery in India to supply BS-VI compliant fuels, containing less than 10 ppm sulphur."
According to the sources, Rosneft has shown interest to bid for the acquisition of Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL). Under India's biggest privatisation plan, the country is selling all of its 53% stakes in the firm. In a meeting between Rosneft's CEO Sechin and Pradhan, the former was keen to expand in the world's third largest energy market.
According to the sources, Petronet LNG and Tellurian Inc, US, are planning to sign a $2.5 billion deal. The deal will be finalized during US President Trump's maiden visit to New Delhi later this month. Petronet will invest for five years in the Driftwood LNG export project in Louisiana. A preliminary non-binding deal was signed by the two companies in September last year.
India's Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan has shown concerns over increasing tensions amidst the oil-producing countries. "In today's times when there is a tension in the oil-producing countries then there is a direct impact on the prices of oil in the markets", said Pradhan. India is also planning to look for other oil import countries apart from the gulf nations.
Downstream giant, IOCL has planned to monetise its pipelines and storage infrastructure. The state-run oil guzzler has aimed to maximize the asset utilisation and lock future revenue using special purpose vehicles (SPVs). According to sources, many PE and VC funds have agreed to invest in IOC assets because of the assurance of elevated returns given by the refining major. IOC has expected this investment to raise its profitability and dividend payout.
Sri Chakra Oil Mill in East Godavari District caught fire yesterday. It took about eight hours for firefighters to put out the fire, managing to save the main factory and nearby oil storage tanks. Although the actual reason behind the fire is yet to be known, sub-inspector Anaparthi suspects an electrical short circuit to be the reason for the fire. No casualties were reported due to the accident.
India's ONGC has been given Environment Clearance (EC) for its onshore exploration, development and production of oil and gas in 100 locations in the non-forest area of Assam. According to official documents, the firm is investing Rs 3,500 crore in the project. "The EC is however subject to obtaining prior permission from the wildlife angle, including clearance from the Standing Committee of the National Board of Wildlife", informed ONGC.
After the announcement by the Indian government to privatise BPCL, many firms have started showing their interest in buying its stakes. Recently, Vedanta Resources Ltd has informed about that the company is evaluating an investment in the downstream giant. “One by one privatising these companies will take 10 years. It is better to (do it in) one-shot. The government has no business to be in business”, said Vedanta's Chairman.
Amidst extreme agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Act in India’s North-Eastern states, the region is heading towards a fuel supply crisis. With refineries shutdown, petrochemical plant and oil-producing facilities non-operational, it’s only a matter of weeks before the fuel crisis hit the region. Sources have revealed that IOC has shut down its Digboi refinery, and is running the Guwahati unit at minimal throughput, while OIL had to shut down its LPG production.
In order to save the time of the oil and gas producers, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) has introduced a single-window clearance system. Through this system, upstream companies will be connected to various arms of the government which will help them in electronic filing of the applications. The government has stated that the time lost in a slow grant of permits reduces the time of firms for actual groundwork.
From November 28, all the workers of Bharat Petroleum will go on strike. However, the authorities have assured that it will not affect the production or availability of fuel. “If the government refuses to withdraw its decision on privatisation, we would be forced to undertake longer strikes, which can spread to several days”, informed General Secretary of Cochin Refineries Employees Association.
The elite club of energy supermajors saw a new entry on Tuesday, with India’s Reliance Industries making into the world's energy royalty. The Indian conglomerate, owned by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, was valued at $138 billion, eclipsing BP Plc’s $132 billion value, at the close of trading on Tuesday. Reliance has rallied 40% this year, buoyed up by Ambani’s plan to cut the company’s net debt to zero in 18 months.